Archive for the ‘Things To Do’ category

Visiting Gallup: 90th Inter Tribal Ceremonial

September 9th, 2010

Here is a NEWS FLASH:   When visiting New Mexico in August you absolutely, positively must attend the 90th Inter Tribal Ceremonial.  Make no mistake about this is truly one of New Mexico’s treasures and a full two days of watching, listening, learning, dancing, eating and enjoying!

We just attended the 89th and our friend, Executive Director, Terri Frazier, made our two days in Gallup nothing short of sensational.  We started early Friday morning checking out the jewelry and other great items for sale in and around the convention center at Red Rock State Park.  It was great to have a chance to talk with the artisans and learn how and why they make the things they make.  I was mesmerized watching one lady meticulously weaving her rug, which she told me takes about six weeks at the rate of ½ inch per hour.  No drawing or plan … just a vision she receives that tells her what to make!

After a foot long corn dog and the biggest order of hand cut curly fries I’ve ever seen (one order will feed 4-5 – we of course each had one!)  we were off to the rodeo.  This was an unexpected surprise.  I have seen calf roping but this was my first face-to-face visit with bull riding … up close!  Now these are some big bulls and nothing I would want to tackle athough our director, Chuck, said he’d give it a try  (HA!) but really something to see.

The grand entry of over 200 ceremonially dressed Native Americans from all over the country was really a WOW event and the drumming and singing that went along with this was a wonderful way to sit down for a while and just enjoy the pageantry.

In the evening there are dance contests in the rodeo grounds that go for several hours all with a true Native American flare.  Nothing better than sitting outside on a warm summer night under the stars watching these wonderful performers.   I was flabbergasted that at 8pm the line of cars coming in was at least a mile long, if not longer!   People coming from all over to witness the night time dancing and singing.  Just spectacular!

Saturday morning was the big two hour parade.  We thought getting there at 8am for a 10am start would be just right.  What a surprise to find out that the streets were lined several people deep long before we arrived.   This is an annual event that none of the locals want to miss, not to mention people from all over Arizona, Texas, Oklahoma, Utah and all regions of New Mexico.  What’s not to love about a parade?  You’ll love every moment!!

This is a grand march from beginning to end and with very few vehicles (reserved for politicians who don’t want to walk!) and something for everyone.  Again, Native Americans in their traditional dress and dance costumes + a couple of wagons filled with the infamous Navajo Code Talkers from World War II.  These men are held in the highest esteem and rightly so.  Without them it is possible that the war in the Pacific would have had an entirely different outcome and one that would, possibly, have changed our lives.  Very special men who deserve our honor and thanks!

After all of this we needed a couple good nights sleep and we found that at the Comfort Suites just about a mile from Red Rock State Park.  Our host, General Manager Ken Riege, truly rolled out the red carpet.  Initially I thought it was just for us, but alas, Ken and his staff roll this carpet out for each guest.  I talked with several people over the great complimentary breakfast and everyone I spoke with felt exactly the same … a return trip to Comfort Suites is in their plans for 2011!  Thanks, Ken, for a wonderful stay.

And thank you, Teri Frazier, for helping us bring the Inter Tribal Ceremonial to life for our TV and web watchers!

We’ll be back at Red Rock State Park next August.  Check out for more information.  Dates for the 90th Ceremonial in August 2011 will be posted shortly.

And did I mention just how magical Red Rock State Park is?   Guess you’ll just have to make a trip to Gallup and see it for yourself.  Who knows … we may run into each other there.  I’m going back and hope you’ll join me!

89th Annual Inter-Tribal Ceremonial in Gallup, New Mexico

June 28th, 2010

The 89th Annual Inter-Tribal Ceremonial…Gallup, New Mexico!
People come from all over the world for this spectacular event, and whether
you’re eight…or eighty, it’s an experience you’ll never forget!
For decades, Native American groups have come to Gallup to perpetuate the
tradition…the culture…the rich heritage of this annual event.
Highlights include the dances and competitive pow wows, with songs, dance
steps and costumes passed down from generation to generation.
The parades are immensely popular….a continuous and colorful pageantry
that includes tribal groups, dancers, horseback riders, Navajo Code Talkers
and tribal royalty.
And for art lovers, this is THE event of the year.  The authenticity and
quality of the arts, crafts and world-class juried art show make this a
shopper’s paradise…an absolute gold mine!
For a touch of the wild west, enjoy the Ceremonial Rodeo…with
dust-swirlin’ action and heart-poundin’ excitement!
And believe me…you could come just for the food!  Navajo fry bread and
tacos….Hopi corn stew…roasted corn on the cob…Zuni oven bread…you’ll
love every mouthwatering bite!!
It’s the 89th Annual Inter-Tribal Ceremonial…August 11th to the 15th…at
Red Rock State Park here in Gallup

Sierra del Rio

May 13th, 2010

Snuggled just six miles from the base of Turtleback Mountain and sprawling throughout the wide open landscapes of the high desert, Sierra Del Rio honors the majestic spirit of the wild southwest. Located in Elephant Butte, NM within the 1,000 plus acres of Turtleback Mountain Resort, Sierra Del Rio Golf Course, is an 18-hole championship daily fee facility with full amenity clubhouse.

In New Mexico we appreciate our natural resources—both for their beauty and for the life they give. For this reason, we have designed a course that is unique not only in its play design but also in it limited impact on our environment. At Sierra Del Rio, we use environmentally safe organic products throughout the property to protect our water shed and abundant wildlife.

Our beautiful southern New Mexico climate combined with our draught tolerant grasses allows the course to maintain its green coloring throughout the year. The organically grown greens are covered with bent grass that offers some of the smoothest putting surfaces found in this part of the country.

At Sierra Del Rio, we believe that playing golf should be a beautiful experience—one that allows you to immerse yourself in a game among a unique design of greens, fairways, and teeing grounds but also one where you will bask in the natural and abundant landscapes that quietly and majestically surround your play. Our design team has created a premier course with 18 memorable holes while preserving the natural environment that has existed here for ages.

The New Mexico History Museum

April 16th, 2010
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Rather than telling visitors what ‘happened,’ the New Mexico History Museum presents a theatrical environment and the engaging stories of the many cultures that have called the Land of Enchantment home.

The New Mexico History Museum includes interactive multimedia displays, hands-on exhibits, and vivid stories of real New Mexicans. As a 96,000-square-foot extension of the 400 year-old Palace of the Governors – the oldest continually occupied government building in the US – the New Mexico History Museum anchors itself on the historic Santa Fe Plaza and offers a sampling of the people and the legends to be found throughout the state.  Modern history museums know that individual accounts are often their most treasured artifacts.

With stories from and about New Mexicans like Po-pay, Juan de Oñate, Kit Carson, Billy the Kid, Adolph Bandelier, Earnest Blumenschein, Robert Oppenheimer, and the ’60s-era counter-culture, the New Mexico History Museum sweeps through centuries of human interaction. The museum is located on the Historic Plaza in Santa Fe Next to the Palace of the Governors, 113 Lincoln Avenue, Santa Fe, NM, 505-476-5200.

On Location at the New Mexico History Museum and Governor’s Palace

April 16th, 2010

Okay … I admit that I’m a big fan of former New Mexico Governor, Lew Wallace.  Not because I have any idea of what his accomplishments were as he served back in the 1800’s, but because of what he did in his spare time.  This is the Governor who decided he was also a writer and penned the epic “Ben Hur”, which many years later made it to the Big Screen starring everyone’s favorite gladiator and rebel, Charlton Heston!   Roman History has always intrigued me and it obviously did the same to Governor Wallace.

That’s why I feel a connection when I head to Santa Fe and a must stop visit to the Palace of the Governor’s.  There you’ll learn about Governor Wallace and our other forefathers who have occupied the Governor’s office inside the oldest capital building still in use on the North American Continent.  It’s a wonderful place to visit and I must admit that I catch myself wondering about Governor Wallace sitting in his candlelit office after sunset meticulously writing “Ben Hur.”  Did he really have a lot to do as governor, or did he have lots of free time?  How and where did he get his information to write while living in Santa Fe, which is more than a few miles from Italy and Israel!

Lots of those questions arise as we take a peek into how our former Chief Executives lived and worked.  It’s even possible to imagine Governor Bill Richardson sitting there pondering the fate of New Mexico in pretty primitive surroundings!  Do you think any of our 20th Century Governors, including Governor Bill Richardson, ever wondered over to the Palace to walk the halls and asks his predecessors for advice as many of our Presidents have indicated they do in the White House?  Any way you cut it, from the Native Americans sitting outside the front door selling their authentic jewelry and pottery to what you see inside the Palace of the Governors is a place you’ll want to visit time and again while in Santa Fe.

And just behind the Palace is New Mexico’s newest museum … The New Mexico History Museum … 3 ½ floors of everything you want to know about New Mexico from the earliest settlers (after the Native American’s) making their way up the El Camino Real (The Royal Road) from Mexico City … to the wild west and early railroad travel … to space travel in our future.

On Location at the New Mexico History Museum

On Location at the New Mexico History Museum

It’s all here and you’ll want to take in every inch of every floor.  See video (including some of our Travel Guide New Mexico video!) and other interactive displays that do much more than give you a glimpse of New Mexico … they walk you through hundreds of years of history and culture.  All in a way that will truly give you a feeling of what it was like then … and how it has evolved to now.  Just a wonderful place.  And being able to walk between the Palace of the Governor’s to the new New Mexico History Museum is a very special treasure that you won’t find in other states.

Santa Fe Brewing Company

April 16th, 2010
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Santa Fe Brewing Company is New Mexico’s  oldest microbrewery, distributing only naturally conditioned beers in its home state of New Mexico and surrounding states including Colorado, Texas, Arizona and California. Santa Fe Brewing Company brews their beer in Santa Fe, New Mexico, featuring favorites such as Santa Fe Pale Ale, Santa Fe Wheat, Santa Fe Nut Brown, State Pen Porter, Chicken Killer Barley Wine, Fiesta IPA, Viszolay Belgian Ale, and Maxwell’s Silver Stout.

Beer aficionados may also enjoy Santa Fe Brewing collectibles such as t-shirts, pint glasses, bottle cap magnets,and even half-pint kid gear!

San Miguel Mission

April 16th, 2010
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The city of Santa Fe was founded in 1610, and El San Miguel (St. Michael’s) Mission Church was built between 1610 and and 1628. It is the oldest church still in use in the United States, this simple adobe structure was built by the Tlaxcalan Indians of Mexico, who came to New Mexico as servants of the Spanish. Badly damaged in the Pueblo Revolt of 1680, the church vigas in the ceiling were burned, and in 1692 De Vargas ordered the church rebuilt.

In 1859 the church served as the chapel for the newly arrived Christian Brothers who took over control of St. Michael’s School. In 1881 the Christian Brothers purchased the church, a recently completed school building, an adobe building and the land upon which they were situated from the Archdiocese of Santa Fe.

Since its creation, San Miguel has been used as a chapel and shrine to St. Michael, a military chapel, an oratory for the Christian Brothers, a school chapel and a barrio church. Today, in addition to being an historical treasure, cultural heritage and tourist attraction, it still serves as a shrine to St. Michael and a chapel where Mass is celebrated weekly Some of the features of San Miquel Mission are:

  • Reredos – The reredos or altar screen dates from 1798 and is the oldest wooden reredos in New Mexico.
  • St. Michael the Archangel Statue – The carved gilded and painted wood statue of St. Michael the Archangel celebrates his victory over Satan and dates from at least 1709 when it was brought from Mexico. It occupies the center niche in the reredos.
  • The San Jose Bell – The bronze bell situated in the gift shop once hung in the bell tower. There is some speculation that it was cast in 1856 in the Parroquia in Santa Fe or in Cerrillos in 1836.

Chuck Jones Galleries in Santa Fe

April 16th, 2010
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The Chuck Jones Galleries in Santa Fe are the source for the finest animation and entertainment art in the world. Based significantly around the work of Chuck Jones, the galleries strive to present his and other artist’s fine works of art in their appropriate elegant setting.

The Chuck Jones Gallery (formerly known as the Chuck Jones Showroom) started in an 800 square foot location in Chuck’s hometown of Corona del Mar, California in 1990 by Linda Jones and her son, Todd Kausen. Each gallery is located in beautiful destination communities and are a must-see when visiting enchanting New Mexico.

The Santa Fe, New Mexico gallery is located in the midst of the downtown area near the famous Plaza area. 135 W. Palace Ave., Santa Fe, NM 87501.  Call for more information: 505/983-5999.

Visit the Chuck Jones Galleries website.

Behind the Scenes at the Chuck Jones Gallery

April 16th, 2010

I discovered while in Santa Fe that there are a lot of great art galleries.  You know it is the third (I think I’m right) largest art city in the country?  Yep, lots of art, sculptures, weavings and just about anything art.

On my most recent trip to Santa Fe I decided that I didn’t want just the norm in art galleries.  I wanted to visit a place that would really make me smile … even laugh … at what I saw.  And more than that I wanted to feel welcomed to do so and not think I would need to talk in hushed tones during my visit.

Where do you find a place like that?  Someplace that brings out the kid in all of us and takes us back to our childhood … or even gives us a chance to reminisce about “art forms” you’ll find today that give you reason to smile?

Well the answer is The Chuck Jones Gallery just off the Plaza downtown.  Chuck Jones?  You know … Wylie Coyote … Road Runner … Marvin the Martian … all of those folks.  You just look at the art and you can’t help but smile.  Okay … you can’t help but laugh!  And the folks in the gallery encourage you to do so all while telling you what inspired Chuck and the other artists represented there to create what they created.

Think … The Simpsons … and then buy one of the original artist drawn cells used in one of the famed TV episodes that are now over 20 years old!  I’ve always loved the Simpsons and believe it or not there are some cells from which I actually remember the episode and can nearly recite the words Bart and the others exclaimed.  Ah.h.h.h… to have one of those in my office!

On Location at the Chuck Jones Gallery

On Location at the Chuck Jones Gallery

Well, we had a ball filming and talking to the great staff there led by Michael Bundy.  And if you’re lucky you might be in the gallery when Craig Kausen, Chuck Jones’ grandson, is there.  Both Michael and Craig will regale you with stories of Chuck Jones.

I ended up purchasing pieces for each member of our staff as a Christmas present.  They are all so wonderful that it is nearly impossible to make the right selection but whatever selection you make, if my staff is any gauge, it will be the right one.  I can’t wait until the Grinch purchased for our home arrives!  Now, that is some Christmas present in a place where laughter and joy abound year round.  The Chuck Jones gallery in Santa Fe.  A different kind of gallery with a whole lot of memories for children of all ages!  You just gotta love it!

New Mexico State Capitol Building

April 16th, 2010
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Today’s New Mexico State Capitol, known as the Roundhouse, is the only round capitol building in the country. It was built by Robert E. McKee with a design by W.C. Kruger that combined elements of New Mexico Territorial style, Pueblo adobe architecture and Greek Revival adaptations. The 232,000 square-foot Roundhouse was dedicated on Dec. 8, 1966.

From a bird’s-eye view, the Roundhouse resembles the Zia sun symbol, which is also emblazoned on the New Mexico state flag. The image, which originated at Zia Pueblo, incorporates elements representing the sun’s rays, the four directions, the four seasons, and the four phases of life. The State Seal of New Mexico, carved in stone, hangs above each of the Roundhouse’s four entrance wings.

The four-story Roundhouse includes a subterranean story and a central interior Rotunda that rises 60 feet through the top three stories. The Rotunda’s design elements include New Mexico Travertine marble featuring a turquoise and brass mosaic depicting the New Mexico State Seal. The ceiling skylight of stained glass is patterned after a Native American basket weave symbolizing the sky and the earth.

The Capitol Art Collection includes paintings, sculpture, handcrafted furniture and other work by New Mexico artists and artisans. The Governor’s Gallery, located on the fourth floor, was founded by Clare Apodaca, who served as New Mexico’s First Lady from 1975 to 1978. The gallery, an outreach facility of the New Mexico Museum of Art and the Department of Cultural Affairs, presents six exhibits per year, including the annual Governor’s Awards for Excellence in the Arts.

For information about guided tours of the New Mexico State Capitol by appointment, call (505) 986-4589 during business hours Monday through Friday. Visitors can take a self-guided tour anytime between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Read more about the New Mexico State Capitol here.

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